Review by Geo
"I may be alone in this, but I love FFL utterly and unreservedly."
Ah, The Final Fantasy Legend--my first ever RPG, and quite an amazing game. Admittedly, this game probably doesn't *really* deserve a perfect score, but even without the nostalgia factor, I still think FFL qualifies as quite an achievement. Why this is is not easy to really objectively quantify, but I shall give it my best shot.
Technical aesthetics certainly don't play into it--the graphics are decent; nothing special, but given that this IS the Gameboy we're talking about, and that it WAS the first GB RPG released on it (in English, at least), they do the job perfectly well. The music is pretty good--ya gotta love the stunningly appropriate tune that plays in the last boss's room--but not on the level of FFLII's.
So. There we go. To properly explain FFL's appeal, we have to look at the game's overall tone. Anybody who's ever praised Xenogears's dense and tangled religous allegory really ought to give credit where credit is due--FFL was, make no mistake about it, the first game to attempt to tackle these issues in any sort of capacity. Obviously, it's not as monstrous in scope as Xenogears, but it handles its issues of faith and free will and so on in a very odd, almost poetic manner, and it makes for a strange, often-disturbing gaming experience. There are a great many bizarre and inexplicable little scenes you encounter as you make your way up the Tower in your quest for Paradise, and though you may not understand their purpose, exactly, they nonetheless make a strong impact on you. Additionally, there's a terrifying amount of tragedy in here--horrible things happen seemingly capriciously to innocent people; sometimes you feel like you're just catching glimpses of a drama being played out apart from the story that you're following. This isn't to say the game is off-putting--if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say I've probably played through it at least a dozen times (including, memorably, once with only one party member). This isn't as mind-boggling as it may sound; the game IS quite short, but boy does it pack a punch. As far as I'm concerned, it has almost unlimited replay value.
I've probably done a terrible job attempting to explain what makes this game so special to me. I suppose it's like religious dogma, really: either you get it, or you don't. There are a great many games that people rave about, the appeal of which I can't even begin to comprehend. Conversely, many people will no doubt think I'm quite mad for my fanatical devotion to The Final Fantasy Legend. But I fully stand by it, come what may. Never doubt that, even for a moment.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 03/06/00, Updated 03/06/00
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